As reported by David Israel on The Jewish Press website, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization has approved a resolution titled “Israeli Practices Affecting The Human Rights of The Palestinian People In The Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem.” The committee also voted to request that the International Court of Justice – a UN body meant to settle disputes between states in accordance with international law and give advisory opinions on international legal issues – “render urgently an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement, and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.”
Now it goes to the UN General Assembly for a final vote, despite Israel and the United States’ vociferous opposition to the resolution. The U.S. representative to the UN noted that the question of Palestine is among the most discussed topics at the UN, and it’s time to abandon resolutions that are biased against Israel. For several weeks, the U.S. Secretary of State tried to get Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to agree not to push for a vote on the resolution. Secretary Blinken also lobbied several countries to oppose it.
Sadly, this sort of animus toward Israel is routine at the UN; but what stood out this time was Ukraine’s unexpected vote in favor of the resolution against Israel.
Israel has supplied a great deal of aid to Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia, including a full field hospital and medical supplies as well as defensive military supplies. Furthermore, Israel voted against Russia and in favor of Ukraine in every UN vote since the invasion began.
To be sure, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has loudly complained that Israel has not provided his country with all of the military aid it was capable of supplying, and this was doubtless the reason for its voting the way it did. But if Ukraine wanted to make a point, even if it was uncalled for, it could have abstained from voting the way many European countries did.
There is another particularly offensive dimension to Ukraine’s perfidy. As Mr. Zelensky well knows, Israel has an overriding need for Russian acquiescence to its efforts to address Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, Israel’s next door neighbor. Indeed, Russia has refused to make its substantial anti-aircraft missile systems located in Syria available either to Iran or Syria, and Russia has not threatened to use them against IDF aircraft during Israeli air strikes. In fact, Israel and Russia have developed a “hotline” to avoid any inadvertent confrontation between them.
Surely the Ukrainian president recognizes that a more robust supply of Israeli arms to his country – which, of course, would be used to kill more and more Russians – would likely cause a disruption in Israel’s hotline arrangement with Russia. While Mr. Zelensky seeks help to pursue what he perceives as his country’s vital interests, he would have Israel disregard its own.
As David Israel observed, “perhaps we should keep in mind [Ukraine’s] treasonous behavior the next time we are asked to feel sorry for the grandchildren of the murderers of our grandparents.”